Disabled Veteran Mows Lawns To Save His Dog's Life

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Meet David.

He's a one-eyed, three-year-old, 140-pound Alaskan Malamute-German Shepherd mix with two bad hips-- so bad, in fact, that if he doesn't have them replaced, he'll need to be put to sleep.

"There's a chance I'm going to lose him."

His owner, Richard Reister, is a disabled veteran who relies on the dog for most of his daily activities. He's had David since the pup was six days old.

"He's learned my left side is weakest. He will actually walk on my left side, put my foot in his mouth and put it on the next step, if you can believe that."

But David, too, is now disabled.

The dog suffers from a genetic leg malformity, and it will cost $8,000 to replace the dog's hips. That's money Reister doesn't have. But what he does have is a plan.

Reister has started cutting lawns in the Chesaning area on his tractor mower for $10 a pop, all in an effort to save money for David's new hips.

"People may think they're taking advantage of me, but I'm the one taking advantage of them," Reister says. "Every dollar I make is one step closer to getting David's hips done."

Even with flyers advertising his services scattered throughout town, he hasn't had much business so far. But Reister says he has no choice but to be optimistic. He says he can't bare to let his pal down; the dog, he says, has become a beacon of strength for him, both physically and emotionally.

"I'm the only one who could make a difference for him."

Making a difference for the dog who makes a difference for him.

Reister says he would be open to mowing lawns anywhere throughout mid-Michigan, as long as it's within reason. He says to give him a call, 989-413-2517, and he'll mow your lawn for $10.

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